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mnRcu 201 1 

voiumc TWO • If SUE TWO 


Balancing the budget on the 
backs of the poor -p. 2 

Near North housing project raises 
complex questions -p. 

A voucher that leads to a home 

-p. 4 

Student's interview with Street 
man makes a big impact -p. 5 

On My Corner - Meet 

Vendor Eddy -p. 6 

By the highways and By the 
Pound Jl -p. 7 


The arts 

-p. 8 

"P- 9 

Infamous Nazi image connects 
with Ann Arbor family 

Write after Breatkfast at 

St. Andrew's r-p. 11 

Street Buzz - ABCs of Scrabble 

-p. 12 


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Groundcover News exists to create 
opportunity and a voice for 
low-income people while taking 
action to end homelessness and 

Susan Beckett, Publisher 

Laurie Lounsbury, Editor 


David KE Dodge 
Karen L. Totten 
Andrew Nixon 
Christopher Alexander 
Phil Hannuksela 
Martin Stolzenberg 

Letters to the Editor: 

Story or Photo Submissions: 

Ads and Classified Ads 

423 S. 4th Ave, Ann Arbor 


Susan Beckett 

Cutting the budget on the 
backs of the poor 

As all levels of government prepare to slash 
services and reduce income supplements, 
Groundcover volunteers are working to 
expand capacity to meet the anticipated 
rise in people teetering on the edge. 

The plan is to expand into other down- 
town areas and major corridors. Thanks to 
the enterprising initiative of our vendors, 
especially Tony, we are now selling in 
downtown Ypsilanti and several Ypsilanti 
churches, in addition to our Ann Arbor 

Among the expected budget savings meas- 
ures most likely to hurt local residents, is 
the elimination of the state and federal 
earned income tax credit (EITC), which 

returns several thousand tax dollars to 
workers whose earnings are below the 
poverty level. Adding to the pain for low 
income families, the cuts to Head Start 
and the slashes to the Child Care Devel- 
opment Block Grant contained in the 
U.S. House budget will cost over 8,000 
Michigan children their preschool experi- 
ence and impact twice as many in the loss 
of child care subsidies. Many parents will 
likely find they spend more in child care 
than they net in income. What is a single 
parent to do? 

According to the Center for Law and So- 
cial Policy, more than 44% of Michigan 
children lived in low income families in 

2009 - that's well over one million chil- 
dren. Half of those children are considered 
poor. Those numbers will certainly swell 
as the several hundred Head Start teachers 
and child care workers join the ranks of 
the unemployed and income supports dis- 

Few current Groundcover vendors have 
children at home, and selling newspapers 
on the street does not lend itself to caring 
for young children. This is a dilemma we 
will have to face as a community and ad- 
dress creatively, knowing there is no gov- 
ernment aid forthcoming - unless the 
drastic House cuts are reduced or elimi- 
nated by the Senate. 

Be Not Afraid part 2 

by Rev. Dr. Martha A. 
Brunell Pastor, Bethlehem 
United Church of Christ 

Shortly after I wrote my Feb- 
ruary column for Ground- 
Coven I discovered a 
wonderful quote by Joan Chit- 
tister. Joan is a sister in a Bene- 
dictine community in Erie, 
Penn. Her writing, speaking, 
and clear, courageous stands 
are treasured in religious and 
spiritual communities around 
the globe. Chittister has writ- 
ten: Be not afraid to speak. Be 
afraid what will happen to the 
whole truth if you don't. As a 
result of the comments and the 
quote, I decided to approach 
Be Not Afraid from another 

As our snowy winter moves 
forward into March, I recall a 
profound moment of being 

unafraid to speak on March 
21, 1965. That day 46 years 
ago, the four-day civil rights 
march from Selma to Mont- 
gomery, Ala. began. At the 
head of the march were many 
truth-tellers walking arm-in- 
arm. Among them were Mar- 
tin Luther King Jr. and Rabbi 
Abraham Heschel. These two 
men, one a black man whose 
childhood was spent in At- 
lanta, Georgia, and the other, a 
Jewish man whose childhood 
was spent in Warsaw, Poland, 
knew what it was like to be de- 
nied full civil rights and to be 
oppressed and threatened at 
every turn. They also both had 
parents who were committed 
to affirming in severely limited 
and dangerous settings that 
Martin and Abraham were 
beloved by God and as 
good as anyone else. The 

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differences between Martin 
and Abraham were obvious. 
They didn't share race, reli- 
gion, or origins. Their com- 
mon truth was equally 
powerful and was there to be 
spoken in what they said and 
did. They were as good as any- 
one else. Truth was bigger than 
the familiar fears swirling 
around their prior experiences. 
Many took issue with who 
they were and what they said 
and did. The truth was theirs 
to speak individually and to- 
gether. It expanded beyond all 
opposition and danger. And 
so, they were not afraid to 
speak with their mouths and 
with their legs. Abraham is 
quoted as saying to Martin 
that day "I feel like my legs are 

Letter to the Editor 
Vaccines still the be 

Thanks so much for covering 
the Global Alliance for Vac- 
cines and Immunizations. You 
may take some heat in Ann 
Arbor for your pro-vaccine 
stand, but the science behind 
vaccine safety is better than for 
any other class of medicine, 
with over 25 studies, including 
the largest study ever done on 
any medicine, showing that 
vaccines are safe, and no study 
published showing significant 
risk from vaccines. Their neces- 
sity has been highlighted this 
year by the local pertussis 
(whooping cough) epidemic, 

There is many a truth to be 
told about homelessness here 
in Washtenaw County. It is 
truth we can encourage in one 
another. It underlines the real- 
ity we are all as good as one 
another. Groundcover listens 
for and amplifies voices that 
others would prefer to dismiss. 
There is truth in these 
monthly pages; it can be scary 
to both writers and readers. 
But it is truth that has been 
given to each of us to utter be- 
yond fear. 

P.S. There is a beautiful chil- 
dren's book, As Good As Any- 
body, by Richard Michelson, 
about the remarkable friend- 
ship between Martin Luther 
King Jr. and Rabbi Abraham 
Heschel and their collaborative 
telling of the truth. 

st option 

present here in Washtenaw 
County, but much less severe 
in neighboring counties with 
higher overall vaccination rates. 
As a local pediatrician, it has 
broken my heart to see so 
many babies, as well as a cou- 
ple of grandmothers, suffer 
needlessly from this preventa- 
ble disease. Keep up your good 
work for our community, espe- 
cially our most vulnerable pop- 

Andrew Seiler 
Liberty Pediatrics 


Near North housing project raises complex questions 

by Christopher Alexander 

The struggle to build an affordable hous- 
ing project called "Near North" under- 
scores an important question for our 
community: Should society subsidize low 
income affordable housing developments 
in an effort to create racial or economic di- 

Groundbreaking on this low-income hous- 
ing development, located on North Main 
Street, is expected to take place early this 
spring. The roughly $15 million project is 
a partnership between Avalon Housing and 
local land developer, Three Oaks Group. 

It takes a complicated assortment of local, 
state, federal and private investments to fi- 
nance a project like this, which is why 
building affordable housing can be chal- 
lenging even in relatively prosperous com- 
munities such as Ann Arbor. 

"There hasn't been any affordable housing 
of any density built in the central down- 
town for many, many years " Bill Godfrey, 
a partner at Three Oaks said. "There's a 
reason for that. 

"It's because it's very difficult to find a lo- 
cation that isn't so expensive that it rules 
out the possibility of building affordable 
housing. We view this as an achievement. 
If building affordable housing were easy, 
we would have solved the housing crisis a 
long time ago." 

Near North will be located on N. Main 
St., south of Summit Street. Currently the 
site contains eight condemned houses that 
will be demolished to make room for the 
new building. 

Avalon Housing is a Washtenaw County 
. nonprofit that has worked in the commu- 
nity to develop and manage affordable 
housing for almost 20 years. Avalon's direc- 
tor, Michael Appel, has been involved with 
low income housing during that nearly two 

"From our perspective," Appel said, "we 
were asked to join in a project that could 
provide affordable housing in a location 
that Avalon would not be able to develop 
on its own. 

"We have multiple partners, with both 
public subsidy and private investment. The 
end result will both benefit the North 
Main entrance to Ann Arbor, the commu- 
nity and its residents." 

Currently, Avalon maintains 23 properties 
with 324 separate units. Near North will 

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This party store on North Main Street will be torn down to make room for the Near North subsidized housing project, which will break ground this spring. 

add 31 units to their portfolio. Avalon s 
tenants typically earn less than 30 percent 
of the area median income. Also, they've 
normally specialized in what's termed 'sup- 
portive housing.' A sizable portion of Near 
Norths units are specifically designated as 
supportive housing. 

"Supportive housing is the combination of 
non-profit affordable housing operation 
and the availability of flexible, individual- 
ized support services for tenants with spe- 
cial needs," according to their website. 
"Across the country, supportive housing is 
proving to be the single most effective so- 
lution to homelessness for individuals and 
families who, in addition to being home- 
less, are working to manage mental and 
physical disabilities." 

The Avalon/Three Oaks partnership hit a 
major hurdle when the neighborhoods 
local homeowner's group, the North Cen- 
tral Property Owners Association, raised an 
objection to the scale of the development. 

The homeowners association protested 
that the original plan for a five-story struc- 
ture with a mix of 61 one- and two-bed- 
room units, as well as some commercial 
and office space, violated the character of 
the neighborhood. 

"This is perhaps one of the most diverse 
neighborhoods in the city," said an associa- 
tion member and adjoining property 
owner who did not want to be named. "In 
its more than 50 year history, the group 
has supported a variety of new housing op- 
tions and rehab projects and has a strong 
legacy and belief in welcoming low income 

and supportive housing in the neighbor- 

"Avalon currently manages a number of 
small scale supportive housing units here, 
and does a great job," the homeowner said. 
"We were excited to have more low income 
and supportive housing in our neighbor- 
hood. So it was with great regret that in 
the spring of 2009, we felt we had no op- 
tion but to oppose the project, due to its 
massive design. 

"We felt the building would destroy the 
human scale and tree-lined greenbelt entry 

into Ann Arbor and replace it with an 
oversized, institutional structure that 
would foster isolation from the neighbor- 

Godfrey said that negotiations between the 
joint venture and the neighborhood went 
on for about a year. 

Near North needed an exemption and spe- 
cial zoning approval, called a Planned Unit 
Development, to build. The PUD approval 
allowed the site to be a mixed use develop- 

see NEAR NORTH, back page 

Ground co v e r Vendors Code 

of Groundcover News. 

While Groundcover News is a 
nonprofit organization, and 
newspaper vendors are consid- 
ered contracted self-ernphyers, 
we still have expectations of how 
vendors should conduct them- 
selves while selling and repre- 
senting the paper. 

Every vendor reads and signs 
the code of conduct before re- 
ceiving a badge and papers. 
We request that if you dis- 
cover a vendor violating any 
tenets of the Code, please con- 
tact us and provide as many 
details as possible. Our papei 
and pur vendors should be 
positively impacting our 

All vendors must agree to the 
following code of conduct: 

• Groundcover News will be 
distributed for a voluntary do- 
nation of $1. I agree not to 
ask for more than a dollar or 
solicit donations by any other 

• I understand that I am not a 

• I will only sell current issues legal employee of Ground- 

If you see any Groundcover News vendors not ab 
conduct, please report the activity to: contacted 

• I agree not to sell additional 
goods or products when sell- 
ing the paper or to panhandle, 
including panhandling with 
only one paper. 

• I will wear and display my 
badge when selling papers. 

• I will only purchase the 
paper from Groundcover 
News Staff and will not sell to 
or buy papers from other 
Groundcover News vendors, 
especially vendors who have 
been suspended or terminated, 

• I agree to treat all customers, 
staff, and other vendors, 
respectfully. I will not "hard 
sell," threaten, harass or pres- 
sure customers, staff, or other 
vendors verbally or physically. 

• I will not sell Groundcover 
News under the influence of 
drugs or alcohol. 

of Conduct 

cover News but a contracted 
worker responsible for my 
own well-being and income. 

• I understand that my badge 
is property of Groundcover 
News and will not deface it. I 
will present my badge when 
purchasing the papers. 

• I agree to stay off private 
property when selling 
Groundcover News. 

• I understand to refrain from 
selling on public buses, federal 
property or stores unless there 
is permission from the owner. 

• I agree to stay at least one 
block away from another ven- 
dor. I will also abide by the 
Vendor corner policy. 

• I understand that Ground- 
cover strives to be a paper that 
covers topics of homelessness 
and poverty while providing 
sources of income for the 
homeless. I will try to help in 
this effort and spread the 

iding by the code of 



A voucher that leads to a home jz 

Particularly for people who've 

by Carolyn Lusch 

For years the federal government re- 
sponded to the problem of homelessness 
by creating neighborhoods of concen- 
trated low-income housing commonly 
known as "projects." One need not look far 
locally to find remnants of this strategy; 
the current Woodbridge Estates in Detroit 
sit on the land that used to hold the Jeffries 
Housing Project. This notorious site typi- 
fied the failed housing project: unsafe, in 
disrepair, and controlled by drug dealers 
and gangs. Regardless of outside factors for 
this decay, it added to the specters of urban 
uprisings throughout the country in the 
late 1960s and spurred the government to 
seek a different strategy for confronting 
urban homelessness. In 1974, the Section 
8 program was created under President 
Nixon, and since then it has become the 
foundation of the federal governments ef- 
forts to confront homelessness. 

Project and Tenant Based Vouchers 

The Section 8 program involves two kinds 
of vouchers: tenant-based and project- 
based. Project-based vouchers are contracts 
given to organizations such as Avalon 
Housing, a non-profit that develops and 
manages supportive rental housing in 
Washtenaw County. These vouchers stay 
with specific building projects to ensure 
that units will be affordable as tenants 
move in and out. Some units at Avalon's 
Pear Street Apartments benefit from these 
vouchers, and the Near North Develop- 
ment, now in planning stage, will have a 
project-based contract for fourteen of its 
thirty-nine units. 

Tenant-based Section. 8 vouchers are ad- 
ministered by the Ann Arbor Housing 
Commission (AAHC) in Washtenaw, 
Western Wayne, and Monroe counties. 
These vouchers assist individuals with any 
housing they choose that meets program 
requirements. Applications for the waiting 
list are accepted every two to four years, 

and applicants who are accepted must seek 
out a landlord willing to take the voucher. 

For David, who has had a Section 8 
voucher for two years, the wait was a little 
over six years between the time he applied 
and the time he was accepted for a 
voucher. He brushed the time off, however, 
saying that he's known people who have 
waited much longer. Eddy is one of these, 
who waited seventeen years to get on the 
waitlist. However, once there, he found the 
process of applying and finding housing 
relatively easy. 

But getting a voucher is by no means easy. 
Michael Appel, associate director of Avalon 
Housing, agrees that obtaining a voucher is 
"absolutely a long process." There are a 
number of different administering agents, 
including AAHC and Veteran s Affairs, and 
the waiting lists are closed most of the 
time. One local applicant waited seventeen 
years to get on the waiting list." 

Julie Steiner, director of the Washtenaw 
Housing Alliance, said, "That's not because 
of the program, it's because of budgets." 

She believes that the program itself works 
very well, but that Washington politics 
have prevented her organization from re- 
ceiving adequate funding. 

"We haven't gotten a new allocation of 
vouchers in a very long time. When vouch- 
ers do open, it's because somebody who 
had a voucher lost their voucher entide- 

Steiner is concerned about changes in 
funding that may come with the 2012 fed- 
eral budget. President Obamas proposal 
would cut $350 million in funding for 
Community Development Block Grants, 
which can be used for shelters and low-in- 
come housing. "We know we don't have 
enough affordable housing," Steiner said. 
"When they cut the federal budget, it's 
going to get worse." 


The Veterans Affairs' Housing 
and Urban Development- Vet- 
erans Affairs Supportive Hous- 
ing (HUD-VASH) program 
provides rental assistance and 
case management for homeless 
veterans in the Ann Arbor area. 
Eligible veterans are identified 
through homeless outreach so- 1 
cial workers, referred by the VAj 
staffs and assisted in the appli- 
cation process. The VA also works closely 
with the Ann Arbor Housing Commission 
to train veterans and work with them to 
find appropriate housing. 

The Ann Arbor VA follows the Critical 
Time Intervention model to help veterans 
successfully transition into housing. This a 
three-stage process in which VA workers 
assist veterans in establishing support net- 
works and advocate on their behalf with 
landlords and neighbors. The agency also 
helps these veterans develop daily living 
skills, such as cleaning, cooking, grocery 
shopping, decorating, and money manage- 

Although part of the Section 8 program, 
HUD-VASH serves some people that the 
regular Section 8 cannot, including sex of- 
fenders and people who owe money to the 
Federal Housing Administration. 

Shawn Dowling is program supervisor for 
the Ann Arbor HUD-VASH. Dowling ac- 
knowledges that the vouchers are "like 
pennies from heaven" - the number of 
vouchers they have available is determined 
entirely by the federal government. How- 
ever, she believes that ending veteran 
homelessness is a high priority for the cur- 
rent administration and the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs. 

The Section 8 Difference 
Steiner believes that the difficulty of Sec- 
tion 8 lies in the funding, not in the pro- 
gram itself. "Particularly for people who ve 

been homeless, getting a Section 8 
voucher is the most effective way to 
keep people from falling back into 
homelessness again. 

- Julie Steiner, Director of 
the Washtenaw Housing Alliance 

been homeless, getting a Section 8 voucher 
is the most effective way to keep people 
from falling back into homelessness again." 

The life-changing potential of Section 8 is 
something Dowling has witnessed on the 
job. She tells the story of a veteran who 
lived in Ann Arbor s tent city for three 
years before the VA helped him to get Sec- 
tion 8 housing. Once in his apartment, the 
neighbors and landlord worried for him 
because he spent every night on the bal- 
cony. Despite this initial fear of the transi- 
tion, he is now living comfortably in his 
new abode and is proud of his success. 
"That's the miracle of these vouchers," says 

Both Eddy and David found greater free- 
dom after transitioning from public hous- 
ing to section 8 housing. Once in the 
section 8 program, David was able to 
choose to live in a senior citizens' apart- 
ment, which is an environment in which 
he feels more comfortable. Eddy experi- 
enced deteriorating comfort and safety in 
public housing, before he was able to move 
to section 8 housing. When the other ten- 
ants in that apartment building became 
too loud, he realized he could move to a 
place that suited him better. "I have section 
8 now. I have choices." Eddy now has a 
good home with a nice backyard, trees, 
and access to different parts of town, and 
looks back on his transition as a tale of sur- 

Vendor Rissa believes faith can conquer despair 

As Susan Beckett has penned, I am an in- 
curable optimist whose philosophy of life 
takes a positive oudook at everything. As I 
opine, I am challenged at every point on 
the spectrum of life to make lemonade out 
of the lemons. Although we cannot control 
what happens to us, we can control how 
we respond to what happens to us. Per- 
spectives are reality for the individual. If 
you see the events of life as an obstacle or 
an opportunity, you're right either way 

How about despair? That is a perspective. 

However, it is a perspective that can be 
overridden by the "higher power." In my 
perspective, the person who is in despair 
still has hope. Consider this writing: 

DESPAIR by Robert Hoepner 

Her boyfriend broke up with her. Her Mom 
caught her shoplifting. Life was not worth 
living as far as she was concerned. To the top 
of the fire escape she climbed. She jumped, 
but her suicide attempt failed. She lives with 
a broken body. 

Despair overwhelms. Disappointment and 
shame extinguishes hope. Alcohol and drugs 
cannot remove the problem, they only mag- 
nify it. What about running away? We cannot 
escape from our problems. Despair takes on 
many forms of self destruction. 

Is there help? Kind people are hard to find 
who support the wounded. Few are so fortu- 
nate as to have merciful friends. But there is 
a Friend. He is near, merciful, and able to 
help. We would befools if we did not call on 
Him. This Friend is Jesus Christ, Gods one 

and only Son. He knows humiliation! He 
carried our sins to the cross so that we dont 
have to suffer despair. Christ is our hope, our 
life, and our salvation. 

Despair happens, but with Jesus we can han- 
dle it. The girl who tried to commit suicide 
knows Jesus now and therefore has hope. I 
pray that you do too. 

I have experienced many reasons not to 
believe, but by holding onto hope, I have 
not been disappointed. Do you suppose 

see Rissa, page 6 


Student learns about life through homeless interview 

Savannah Arindaeng was assigned to inter- 
view someone of local or personal significance 
for her American History class. She chose to 
tell the story of one of Ann Arbors homeless 
people. Says Savannah, "Meeting with 
Gwidian Storm provided me with a window 
into a world I want to know more about. It 
occurred to me that many people are only a 
few life choices away from finding themselves 
in a similar circumstance. " 

— Peter Scherer, history teacher, 
Rudolph Steiner High School 

by Savannah Arindaeng 

After approaching this man and saying 
hello, I asked if I could talk to him for a 
moment. He said, "Of course." I then 
asked if I could sit down with him; he wel- 
comed a discussion. I explained my as- 
signment, showed him the letter from my 
teacher, and offered to take him to lunch. 
He said he had already eaten, but any 
money would be very much appreciated. 

Q: What is your name? 

A: My name is Gwidian Storm. Uh, I got 
it at a Vision Quest actually, and it is my 
real name now because that's the name I 
use all the time. 

Q: How long have you lived in Ann 

A: Um, I got here, uh, like two days before 
art fair started. I've been traveling, hitch- 
hiking, homeless, on the road, for over 
twenty-one years. I've been from one 
ocean to the other and back five times. I'm 
likin Ann Arbor a lot! I'm happy to be 

Q: Do you want to talk about how you 
got in this situation? 

A: Well, uh, I... I started out twenty-one 
years ago just basically wantin' to be an old 
school hippie, you know, and I met some 
people and started traveling, and you know 
by the time I was turnin thirty, . .1 couldn't 
get out of it anymore. I started tryin' to 
settle down and get a job. . .but, you know, 
I've got mental problems which I'm 
workin'. . .workin' with court right now. 
Uh my psychiatrist says I have chronic de- 
pression and uh, uh... a personality disor- 
der, and basically what that means is that 
I've been fired from every job I've ever had. 
So at this point nobody really wants to hire 
me. So, uh. . .you know there's not a whole 
lot out there for un-skilled labor, which is 
what I am. . . So here I am. 

Q: What kinds of jobs have you had pre- 

A: I've had every kind of shit job you can 
possibly imagine, from pumpin' gas to 
workin' in a nuclear power plant. 

Q: You seem to have had a really hard, but 
interesting life. What's the happiest mo- 
ment of your life that you can remember? 

A: Hmm. . . I'd have to say that would be 
when I fell in love. But, that would be also 
followed the unhappiest moment of my 
life. . .when she didn't. 

Q: When was that? 

A: Back in 2006. And, that's really about 
all I really wanna say about that. 

Q: Did you go to college? 

A: I did a couple semesters of college. 
Flunked out because for the first time in 
my life I had a social life, which I didn't in 
high school, and I got distracted, and 
flunked out... 

Q: Where were you born? 

A: Columbus, Ohio. 

Q: When you were a kid, was school ever 
an issue for you or was it just a normal 

A: Well, basically. . . the schoolwork wasn't 
the problem. I was actually bored with the 
academic work. The problem was socializ- 
ing. I was raised as an only child and I just 
don't really get along with other people 
that well. 

Q: When you were a child, what did you 
think you were going to be doing at this 
point in your life? 

A: Oh I don't know. I figured I'd be an as- 
tronaut, or somethin' stupid. 

Q: What kind of relationship did you 
have with your parents? 

A: I was actually raised by my. . . by a foster 
mother. Uh, the woman who birthed me 
was kind of abusive and so was her 
boyfriend. My natural father was an alco- 
holic and couldn't take care of me, so he 
asked a friend of his to raise me., .and she 
did. And, you know, it was a typical rela- 
tionship with parents, except 'my primary 
parental figure was old enough to be my 
grandparent. So, other than that, it was 
fairly normal. 

Qj Are you still in contact with her at 

A: Oh no. She's dead! 

Q: What are you're most proud of in 
your life? 

A: Hmmm. (Pause) that's a tough ques- 
tion. Guess I'd have to say the 
mileage. . .that's about it. 

Q: What's the most amazing place you've 

A: Oh Grand Mesa, Colorado! Uh, there 
was one night that I was there - there was a 

lunar eclipse, there was a double 
rainbow around the moon, and I 
had a sheet and a half of acid in 
me so . . . [laughs] It was pretty 
amazing so... 

Q: Everyone has regrets. Do 
you have any regrets that really 
stand out, or moments that you 
really wish you could just take 

A: Oh too many things to list - 
too many things to list and I'd 
rather not talk about them. 

Q: What is one of the most im- 
portant lessons you've learned? 

A: That it's all about perspective. 
Never think you know every- 
thing cuz when you shift to 
somebody else's point of 
view. . .it's all different. 

Q: Have you ever wanted to have a fam- 
ily or kids of your own? 

A: I've thought about it a lot, but, uhh re- 
ally, I'm not cut out to be a dad. I, I'd 
rather not raise children. They might end 
up as screwed up as I am. 

Q: What kind of social circle were you 
part of as a kid? 

A: Well mostly, I was hangin' by myself. I 
didn't really have too many friends when I 
was a kid. 

Q: When were you born? 

A: 1968. 

Q: What do you think your future 
holds? Do you see yourself just traveling 
for the rest of your life? 

A: Well uh, hopefully I see myself getting a 
disability check, and a Section 8 health 
somewhere here in Ann Arbor. And, I'd 
like to settle down here, and you know, 
just try to learn how to be a regular con- 

Q: When in your life have you felt the 
most alone? 

A: Hmm. I'm never alone really. I mean, 
even. . .even though I'm alone, I'm not. 
You know, God is always with me. So, I've 
never been completely alone. 

Q: Who has been the kindest to you in 
your life? 

A: Um. . .the people who give me money. I 
mean, you know. . .there are kind people 
everywhere, but I mean... kindest? Who is 
to say? You know? 

Q: Who had the biggest influence on 
your life? 

A: Probably my second mom. She was uh, 
the leader of a lesbian, pagan, folk band 

that, uh, I hooked up with. I was already 
off and on for like 10 years, and she taught 
me a lot, about growin' up, and having re- 
sponsibility, and that sort of thing. 

Q: Where do you go at night? 

A: I have a tent down by the river. 

Q: And when it's really cold in the win- 
ter? And when it's snowing? 

A: I'll still be in the tent by the river. 

Q: When you're in one spot, like you are 
now in Ann Arbor, what do you usually 
do during the day? 

A: Well, uh, I spend part of the time beg- 
gin', I spend part of the time hangin' out 
with other street people, and you know, 
when we got some beer, or some whiskey 
or some weed, then we'll sneak off and do 
that! Yeah, mostly it's pretty boring. It's all 
about, you know, either makin' money, or 
spendin' money, tryin to have a good time. 

Q: Have you ever felt like you just didn't 
want to go on anymore? 

A: Well yeah, yeah. I mean, like I said, I 
do have chronic depression, and the only 
thing that keeps me from being suicidal is, 
I know that I'm not allowed to die without 
permission. God said so. . .1 believe her. 

Q: How do you want to be remembered? 

A: I'll be happy if I just got a grave with a 
tree on it. A successful life in my opinion 
is an obscure life. Nobody says anything 
bad about dead people they never heard of. 

Q: Are there any other words of advice, 
or wisdom? 

A: Hmm. . .words of advice or wisdom? 
Don't spit into the wind. 

Q: [Laughs] I'll definitely remember 



usic, art and a corrections career for vendor Eddy 

by Susan Beckett 

The mellow strains of his guitar have sere- 
naded passers-by at Liberty and Fourth Av- 
enue for years, but now Eddy is more often 
seen with his stack of Groundcover papers. 
His winning smile and easy-going disposi- 
tion charm all those who stop and listen. 
His lithe figure belies his middle age years 
but reflects his pastimes of running and ex- 

Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Eddy at- 
tended Slauson Middle School and gradu- 
ated from Pioneer High School in 1989. 
He fondly recalls singing in the choir and 
taking guitar class under the direction of 
Mr. Westerman, and also taking some 
piano classes. He was also assigned a life 
coach at Pioneer to help him organize and 
manage his finances. 

Upon graduation, Eddys life coach helped 
him get section 8 housing at a low-income 
complex but he found it a terrifying place 
to live. During the 17 years he lived there 

he witnessed three stabbings, one of which 
would have been fatal had Eddy not called 
911. Drug dealers and rapists were among 
his neighbors and Eddy was anxious to 
find a better place to live. Finally, he re- 
ceived a section 8 voucher, then spoke to 
the landlord of a nice, safe complex and 
convinced him to accept the voucher. 

Eddy works steadily, always for at least five 
years in each job, often working two jobs 
at a time. He currently does janitorial 
work part-time for the county and works 
security at a downtown club. He attended 
Washtenaw Community College (WCC) 
on a loan arranged through the college. 
He pursued criminal studies and com- 
pleted quite a few courses but failed one 
class. That resulted in a $700 bill from 
WCC with interest accumulating. Though 
Eddy is eligible for another loan, he says he 
will never take out another. 

His security work piqued his interest in 
corrections and he would like to return to 
WCC and get his associates degree in that, 
for which he needs about 40 credits. 

Rissa has experienced 
reasons not to believe, but 
she holds on anyway 

continued from page 4 

the girl who thought she wanted to end 
tier life is now disappointed that her sui- 
cide plans failed? I think not, because she 
now has opportunity to live life to the 
fullest and really appreciate the joys of a 
good relationship. She can now see that a 
better relationship was waiting for her. If 
her boyfriend had not broken up with 
her, she would not have been available to 
receive and appreciate the good friendship 
in a better and more nurturing and 
healthy relationship environment. Had 
she not felt the agony of shame of getting 
caught shoplifting, she would not have 
been able to enjoy the beauty of mercy, 
grace, and forgiveness. It is the benefit of 
grace, mercy, and forgiveness that teaches 
us to correct our mistakes and make bet- 
ter choices for better and greater conse- 

Hope can change perspectives to create 
more positive outlooks. This is the dy- 

namic that occurs when you believe you 
can: ideas on how to accomplish "it" 
flourish. Conversely, if you think you can- 
not, reasons why you should fail bombard 
your brain. Hope does make a difference. 

I am challenged everyday to think on 
whatever is true, right, and of Good Re- 
pute - to see the silver lining in every 
cloud. How about you? Do you have 
some clouds that need to have the silver 
lining revealed? 

Take on the Challenge! 

Let s see if a silver lining can be found in 
your cloud. 

Write Rissa at: 
submissions@groundcovemews. com. 

Though he hopes for a 
Pell grant, he is working 
and saving as much as 
he can so he can hope- 
fully afford the tuition 
on his own someday. 

During his time at 

WCC, Eddy played jazz 

guitar in the Jazz Band 

with Johnny Lawrence. 

Since then he has 

recorded 2 CDs and 

may form a band this 

summer. His work can 

be previewed on the web 

by going to the site "cd-" and searching 

for "Edward Pow." He 

also excelled in a class on 

Art Theory. He puts his drawing talent to 

use doing caricatures in the summer. 

Vendor Eddy, a talented musician who aspires to 
a career in corrections 

been a great addition to the Groundcover 
family and he is so grateful to his loyal cus- 

This hardworking and congenial man has 

Bethlehem United Church of Christ 

423 S. Fourth Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 

(between William and Packard) (734) 665-6149 

Bethlehem Church is the home of the Groundcover office. 


8:30 am ~ Choir Rehearsal 

8:30 am and 10:00 am r Worship 

9:00 am ~ Confirmation Class 

10:00 am ~ Church School 

10:00 am ~ Young Adult Forum 

11:30 am ~ Youth Fellowship 

Upcoming Events: 

March 9 ~ Ash Wednesday Worship and Study ~ 7:30 pm 

March 13/11:30 am or March 14/11:00 am ~ Book Study 

Wednesday Night Study Sessions on Spiritual Practice: 

March 16, 23, 30, April 6, and 13 at 7:30 pm 

March 19 ~ Gospelf est ~ 7:00 pm 

March 20 ~ Fresh produce collection for Food Gatherers 

March 22 ~ Applebee's Fundraiser ~ all day 

March 21 to 27 ~ Men's Rotation Shelter 

an invitation to grow in spirit and serve with joy 



From around the world to By the Pound 

by Susan Beckett 

Behind the placid friendly face of Glenn 
Bourland, owner of By The Pound, is a 
man whose wildly shifting life belies the 
stability evident in his bulk foods store. 
Perhaps his adventures attuned him to lis- 
tening closely . Its tricky in a place like By 
the Pound where there is only one register 
and customers are accustomed to breezing 
though. Still, Glenn tries hard to listen to 
customers, especially about what he should 

"I have almost 200 spices now and people 
love the spices. They're fresh and they're 
inexpensive," Bourland crows. His selec- 
tion of teas is also very popular and he sells 
a lot of bulk coffee, including Ann Arbor's 
Roos Roast. Customers claim the red pop- 
corn from Ann Arbor's Bur Oaks Farm is 
the best they have ever tasted. It is the ter- 
rific selection of bulk Callebaut chocolate 
that often draws this writer to the store. 

Whenever possible, Bourland buys local. 
He credits the popularity of the nuts he 
sells to their exquisite freshness, roasted 
weekly by Rocky Peanut of Detroit. Cus- 
tomers frequendy tell him that By the 
Pound is their favorite store because of the 
quality and the opportunity to buy exactly 
how much they want. It is onebf the few 
places in town where the ingredients for a 
nourishing meal for one can be purchased 
for a dollar. 

The economic downturn has actually 
spurred business. "Liquor, fast food and 
By the Pound do better in a bad economy," 
quips Bourland. Hes learned that people 
are doing more cooking and baking for 
themselves and for others as gifts, and they 
come to him purchase their basic ingredi- 
ents in bulk. 

But how did a boy who grew up in the 
Santa Cruz area and attended the Univer- 
sity of Hawaii on a golf scholarship come 
to be the proprietor of such a store in Ann 
Arbor, Michigan? It s the tale of a man 
finding himself again and again, and it 
began when he dropped out of college after 
three years because he didn t know where 
he was going. 

He returned to California where he 
worked as a phone clerk on the Pacific 
Stock Exchange and soon yearned to be a 
trader. He bartered golf lessons for train- 
ing and financial backing as an options 
trader-broker. Six months later he was on 
the floor trading. Three lucrative years he 

Glenn Bourland, owner of By the Pound, in front of his extensive spice racks 

i was ready for another change and set off to 
bicycle around the world. 

He and his friend Glen (with one n') set 
out for the East coast. As they passed 
through Death Valley, they found a Japan- 
ese tourist stretched out at the side of the 
road, overcome with thirst. He had set 
out with insufficient water, unaware of the 
extreme heat and aridity. They rehydrated 
him and escorted him to a town, then con- 
tinued on their dusty way. 

Near dusk they stumbled on what ap- 
peared to be a ranger s house in the vicinity 
of the campground they had ridden five, 
uphill and very hot miles looking for. 
Lured by a hose with water, they started 
cleaning themselves off, but within min- 
utes they were naked and dancing like chil- 
dren in a sprinkler. They gratefully set up 
camp on the scrubby lawn and fell into a 
deep sleep from which they were violently 
aroused at midnight by an indignant assis- 
tant park ranger, incensed that they were 
camping on the head rangers lawn. He 
threw their things in his truck and relo- 
cated them to the gravel parking lot that 
passed for a campground in that area. 
Once he left, the Glens burst out laughing, 
thinking, "What he would have done if he 
had seen them a few hours earlier!" 

Later in the trip, a violent lightning storm 
engulfed them while they tried to reach a 
small New Mexico mesa town. Riding 
feverishly against the driving rain, the 
Glens watched a cactus explode from a 
lightning hit a mere 100 yards away. 
After ten minutes of hell, they rode into an 
old abandoned mining town There was 
only one public space and that was a tough 
looking cowboy bar. In they sauntered, 
clad in wet, form fitting biker shorts. 
With all eyes upon on them, they retreated 
to the mens room to dry off and change 
into dry clothes and were soon barked at, 
"Hey, cut it short in there!" 

After quietly finding a few places at the 
end of the bar, the other Glen went to call 
his San Francisco girlfriend, on the pay 
phone. Slowly the conversation in the bar 
died and everyone could hear Glen moan- 
ing, "Oh Rosie, I love you, Rosie. You 
know I miss you Rosie," and so on. When 
Glen hung up, the room went completely 
silent. Then the bar filled with a cacoph- 
ony of "Oh Rosie, I love you, Rosie. I miss 
you, Rosie!" The Glens hustled out and 
found an abandoned house with broken 
window glass on the floor that proved a 
more comfortable place for them to crash 
and wait out the storm. 

By the time they reached the East Coast, 
Glen missed Rosie too much to continue. 
Glenn hiked solo along the east coast but 
found that, although he loved seeing the 
country by bicycle and talking with people 
along the way, it lost its luster without a 
companion with whom to share such ob- 
servations. He shipped his bike home and 
took off backpacking through Europe and 

In Europe Glenn visited Spain, France, 
Germany, Austria, Holland, England, 
Scotland, Wales and Ireland, meeting and 
travelling with people from numerous na- 
tions. His fondest memories are the times 
he spent with the Australians and New 
Zealanders at the Octoberfest in Germany. 
"Those guys and girls really knew how to 
have fun." 

A tall, pale man, Glenn really stood out in 
China, especially while he was accompa- 
nied by a former girlfriend, a 5' 10" Jr. 
Olympic swimmer and swimsuit model. 
This was 1985, and China had only been 
open to tourists for a few years. They were 
okay as long as they didn t stop. Once, 
Glenn paused to watch a street musician 
playing and within a minute there were 50 
to 100 people watching Glenn watch the 
flute player. 

Chinese customer service was eye-opening. 
The counters were four deep with people 
waiting to be served and if you didn't push 
forward, you never got a turn. He went 
once to a 15 story hotel, with 30 rooms to 
a floor, and asked for a room. The clerk 
told him it was full. As he headed out 
through the lobby, an Aussie called to him, 
"You just have to wait him out. This place 
is nearly empty. I'm the only one on my 
floor." Glenn returned to the desk every 
15 minutes and was told, "All full," until 
an hour and a half later when the clerk re- 
marked, "A room opened up." Glenn was 
the only occupant on that floor. 

He reflected that at that time, all Chinese 
took at test at age 17 that determined their 
futures. They were told what job they 
would have for life based on those test re- 
sults. Some women were assigned the job 
of sweeping the freeways, a terrifying 
prospect in a city like Beijing where there 
were 30,000 car accidents each year. Glenn 
surmised that the clerk had not wanted the 
job he was assigned and was desperate to 
assert his personal power. 

see WORLD-WIDE, p. 10 


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Fill in the squares so that each row, column, and O 
3- by- 3 box contain the numbers 1 through 9. 


Figure out the encryption code to solve the puzzle 







1. Skiff 















5. Bails 

9. NFL coach 





14, Curved wall or ceiftng 
15- Samoan musician Opetaia 

16. Inn 

17. Irish county and crystal manufacturer 







19. Large auditorium 

20. Afpaca's relative 

21. Visions 
23. Ponder 

25. Audio component, for short 
29. Cause a stow absorption 
33. Dorothy Gale's dog 
35. Bad (prefix) 
























36. Incirlik Air Base (airport code) 

37. Tub 





39. Dinnerware 

41. Irish county, noted for its music 

43. Irish novelist Adrian 

45. Farewell 


' ■•■- 
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V.: ; -: '. : - 




46, Med. students group (abbr.) 
48. Soccer star 








49. Computer programming language 

50. Thought 





52. Quarterback, usually 
54, Actress Durbin 





56. Chinese surname 
58. Blue 




60. Fiddler oh the Roof star 
65. Sovereign 



68. Irish county, subject of a World War 1 song 

10. Palomino 

44. Cloak 

70. Egyptian crosses 

11, American Indian tribe 

47. Irish poet Patrick 

71. Snow vehicle 

12. Masculine nickname 

51. Father 

72. Prevaricator 

13. mode 

53. Poker bet 

73. Editor's marks 

18, Sheep 

55. Dark time 

74. Actor Robert or Alan 

22. Suitable 

57. Wished 

75. Fashion magazine 

24. Japanese surname 

59. Mod, Mad, Mad, Mad World 

26. Organic compounds 

61. Decorative border 


27. Famous Yankee 

62. Bucket 


28. Game participant 

63. Verba! 

2. Semiprecious stone 

29. " in the Way," 1970s album title 

64. Stringed instrument 

3. Nick and Nora Charles's dog 

30. Something boring and ponderous 

65. Vegas 

4. Swarm 

31. Philippine city 

66. Whole number (abbr.) 

5. Power switch position 

32. Decorative molding 

67. out, obtain with difficulty 

6. Area measurements 

34. Law: V = IR 

69. Pocket-steed computer (abbr.) 

7. Irish boxer Coleman 

38. Wings 

8. Surface of a building 

9. Symbol associated with St. Patrick's Day 

40, Pelvic joints 

42. Irish brewer Arthur 

Puzzle by Jeff Richmond 

'thank you... 

solutions on page 11 

Our heartfelt thanks to 

our most recent donors: 

VMT for the gift of a computer 

Veronica Sanitate and Rissa Haynes for 

donating printers 
Catherine Martin Buck for a filing cabinet 

Lori Sipes for donating office supplies 

Bethlehem Church for office space and the 

ongoing support of their staff and 

congregants, including a 


donation from 

^ Alethea Helbig 


we wont Keep silent 

Who made your bread? Wh 
The ghosts of poverty, cf< 
gathering hopes by m 
and spending them j 

Some poor keep 
Some see with 
Howling gets o 
trading haze a 

We won't kem 
They want to 
cover us ovet 
Blush ofshai 
yet our/ace 
We won't h 
This world 
We gave bi 
took off th 

We are n 
King Jr. 
We a 

Writer's Workshop 
is open to all 

Writing for publication demands 
skills and craft. It also calls for a 
good eye to see stories in your 
community and visualize their 

On Saturday, March 26, Ground- 
cover will host a writer's workshop 
to help contributors and anyone 
in the community with these skills. 

The workshop will be led by 
Vickie Elmer, a freelance writer 
whose articles appear in the Wash- 
ington Post and Fortune and a for- 
mer editor at Newsday and the 
Detroit Free Press. Ann Arbor Ob- 
server Editor John Hilton and 
Groundcover Editor Laurie Louns- 
bury and others will assist. 

Participants will learn how to 
seek out great stories, how to 

sharpen their focus and how to 
develop features and news stories 
with clarity, color and fairness. The 
workshop runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 
the First Baptist Church (517 E. 
Washington St.) in Ann Arbor. An 
optional lunch afterward will 
allow the writers to continue their 

Cost of the workshop is $20, with 
all funds going to support 
Groundcover. Writers who have 
contributed two or more articles 
to Groundcover or who promise 
two future articles will be admit- 
ted for free. 

Pre-registration is required by 


or calling: 


^Writer's ^Workshop 

g a.m. to ip.m. 

Saturday, March 26 

first "Baptist Churchy JAnn JArBor 

517 X. yvashington Street 

January is Not long enough 

It is hard to do the work of leaving, 
so we turn up the music. 
We play Barioni, "Nessun Dorma," 
and Bjorling and Nicolai Gedda, 
everything loud. 

Earlier we went room to room, 

Picking through our belongings, sorting. 

I found a container of toy cars you loved as a boy, 

a black Ferrari and a black Murcielago. 

You race them around the bedroom carpet, seven again, not 18, 

open all the doors to show how they work, lift the hood, pretend the radio plays. 

I found a wooden rattle and little purple felt mouse you stitched in school. 
Georges Thill hits a high C and the note hangs in the air 
touching every nerve in my shaking body. 


We talk about language. The safety of words about words. 
If I couldn't sing, I might break my own heart. 

A friend said once, a person can live anywhere for a short time. 
We are living in the air where Georges Thills voice soars, 
over all this, over and through. 

What will the new people hear after they claim the house? 
Music leaking out of the walls in the shadows of early morning. 
Arias in the shower, a soft murmur from the basement vents. 
Jusse singing "O Helga Natt," or the sound often years 
compressed into one last climbing scale. 

When we shut the door, it will be music I hear, 

Bizet, the last lines of La Boheme, 

not a small voice saying "goodbye." 

Tenor voices 

elevate our sorrow and we retreat to chairs. 

Karen L. Totten 
January 2011 


A haunting, now infamous, Nazi image has connection 
to Ann Arbor family 

By Martin Stolzenberg 

Sometimes we don't know when we are being part of a 
miracle, the wonder of humanity. 

When our son Dan was three years old he had a hospital 
visit. The diagnosis had been that he had to have his ton- 
sils and adenoids removed. He went into Nyack General 
Hospital in Nyack, New York a day early, to be prepped 
for the procedure. It was a sweltering summer day; but 
there was Danny, uncomfortable and frightened, in a hot 
hospkal gown, with no air conditioning in an otherwise 
empty ward. 

Along came the pediatric surgeon who would be operating 
the next day. He sized up the situation, telling the attend- 
ing nurse, "Get this boy out of the gown. Give him his 
own underpants. He doesn't need a top. Let's get some 
fans in here to cool the place ofT. Give him some fluids." 

Nice man, we thought. Danny was now more comfortable 
and less upset. The operation went smoothly. Danny 
went home in another day or two. 

Fast forward 20 years. My wife Gale was teaching in an af- 
ternoon religious school program. She was looking in a 
catalog for some videos for her students to watch. There 
she found a documentary about a young boy who had be- 
come famous for being in a photo from World War II. It is 
the one of a crowd of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto being 
menaced by a German soldier with a submachine gun. A 
little frightened boy is near the soldier. He stands out from 
the rest of the crowd, because he is holding his arms up, 
the universal sign of surrender. 

The young boy held at gunpoint by Nazis in this infamous photo grew up to show kindness to Ann Arbor family 

It was assumed the unknown boy had died in the Holo- 
caust. Then, years later, a man came forward. He had seen 
the photo, instandy remembering he was that boy. It was 
verified. He had somehow escaped the carnage, been sent 
to Israel, grew up there, and became a pediatric surgeon. 
He immigrated to the U.S., practicing at Nyack General 
Hospital. His name is Dr. Tzvi Nussbaum. The name of 

the fdm about his life is: Tzvi Nussbaum: A Boy from 

Of course, this is the same person who had been so kind 
to Danny many years later. His life had come a full circle. 
The boy frightened boy had grown up, choosing to be- 
come a doctor, devoted to helping other frightened chil- 
dren, and healing them. 

A world-wide bike and hike trail led to Ann Arbor 

continued from page 7 

Similarly, on a bus trip to the Great Wall, 
Glenn disembarked with the other passen- 
gers when ordered to do so by the driver. 
When he returned, all the other passengers 
were already seated and ready to go. As he 
reached for the door to ascend the steps, 
the bus drivers shouted at him and raced 
forward 50 feet. He walked to the bus and 
the scenario was repeated several times be- 
fore the driver allowed him back on the 

Finally, his brother flew to New Zealand 
with both their bikes and he finished his 
Journey back in the saddle riding the entire 
island north to south. Upon returning to 
California, he developed golf and calendar 
products for a while. Then he set his sights 
on the health field, specifically homeopa- 
thy, but needed a base training like chiro- 
practic. He opted to train at the Five 
Branches Institute and graduated with a 
degree in acupuncture. During that time 
he also met and married his wife who 

hailed from Michigan. 

He practiced acupuncture for three years 
in California in the early 90s. Some of his 
patients were dying of AIDS. "It is hard 
mentally working with sick people, espe- 
cially in alternative medicine with people 
who have exhausted all other possibilities 
and are terribly sick," Glenn remarks. His 
wife was visiting family in Ann Arbor with 
their young son and a job opportunity pre- 
sented itself for her here. 

They relocated and Glenn considered prac- 
ticing acupuncture here. He was dissuaded 
from doing so by another acupuncturist 
who had recently been prosecuted for 
practicing in Michigan where it was illegal 
for anyone but MDs to practice acupunc- 
ture (The practitioner escaped conviction 
by claiming that acupuncture did nothing, 
so he was not actually practicing medi- 

Glenn did some construction work then 
commuted to Chicago four days a week to 


work as a trader on the options floor of 
the Chicago Board of Exchange. The 
grueling commute and absence from his 
growing family did not suit him. His wife|| 
spotted an ad in the newspaper that By 
The Pound was for sale and, despite a 
total lack of experience in retail, they 
bought it July 1, 1995. 

Glenn found running a store to be hard 
work, especially at first. Luckily, he foundl 
Michael, a likeable British tea enthusiast 
and talented amateur cook with a great 
memory. He has been a very 
valuable and trusted employee for many 
years. A couple of friendly, dependable 
part-time employees also help at the store, 
and between the four of them they're able 
to staff the extensive hours of Monday 
through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00, p.m., 
Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sun- 
day, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

"I enjoy talking with my customers. 
They're really interesting, and I think they 
like the fact that the owner of the store is 

the Pound owner stands in front of his shop located 
South Main Street, next to Back Alley Gourmet 

thy guy behind the counter. They also like 
buying local, staying green, and saving on 
packaging," Glenn muses. What he's 
doing must work, since each of his 16 
years has been better than the previous 
one. He's been approached about expand- 
ing and opening stores in other locations 
but after all his peregrinations, Glenn is 
satisfied exactly how things are. How green 
is that, recognizing and choosing suffi- 



■?; mmmm-m,- 



Write after Breakfast at St. Andrew's 

by David KE Dodge 

Dining! Music! Literature! 

If you frequent The Breakfast at St. An- 
drew's Church in Ann Arbor, you are prob- 
ably aware that the nourishing breakfast is 
occasionally accompanied by first-class live 
piano music performed by fellow diners. 
But there's another opportunity offered by 
the church to participate in creativity: a 
weekly gathering of breakfast patrons with 
professionals from U of M, to engage in 
writing, reading the writing, and offering 

The gathering, called "Write After Break- 
fast at St. Andrew's," also referred to as "the 
(writers) workshop," was briefly described 
in the Agency Spotlight segment in the 
September issue of Groundcover News. 
Like the breakfast, the writer's workshop is 
open to everyone in the community. 

The workshop meets on Tuesdays during 
the U of M Fall and Winter terms, in one 
of various rooms at St Andrews. After the 
breakfast is over, at 8:30, the leaders of the 
group gather with the other interested par- 
ticipants and proceed to the assigned 
room, and are given a topical word or read- 
ing by the leaders. They then write for per- 
haps 1 5 minutes to half an hour on the 
prompt given or on a subject of their own 
choosing. The participants read their cre- 
ations and receive and give comments on 

what was read. The sessions are usually fin- 
ished by 10:00 a.m.. 

Write After Breakfast at St. Andrews was 
modeled after the Holy Apostles Soup 
Kitchen Writer's Workshop, in New York 
City, which first convened around 1995. 
Having learned of that workshop, the Rev. 
Deacon Svea Gray at St. Andrews spoke to 
Christine Modey at The Sweetland Center 
for Writing at UM about starting such a 
program at St. Andrew's, with leadership of 
the meetings being provided by The Cen- 
ter. Two professional writers, Charlotte 
Boulay and Patrick O'Keeffe, rose to the 
occasion. Thus began, in 2005, meetings 

of the workshop at St. Andrews. The 
workshop has continued since then meet 
under the leadership of different profes- 
sionals from U of M. 

You say "I cant write." This much is for 
sure - you won't write if you don't try. Give 
yourself a chance, in an atmosphere of 
friendly feedback. The next time you find 
yourself at The Breakfast at St. Andrew^ 
on a Tuesday, wait around until 8:30, and 
join the current leaders from UM, Court- 
ney and George, along with we fellow writ- 
ers, and go with us to the workshop. Paper 
and pens are provided; just bring your cre- 
ativity. Breakfast is optional. 

Puzzle solutions 

from page 8 


Solution: "Life is like a piano. What 
you get out of it depends on how you 
play it." 

— Tom Lehrer 
























































































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Near North development will earn a Gold LEED rating 

continued from page 3 

ment. Alongside the residential units, Near 
North will include around 1,500 square 
feet of office, and 2,700 square feet of 
commercial space. 

Near North initially violated the existing 
zoning laws with regard to building's 
height, density, as well as setback require- 
ments, so exemptions were a necessity. 

"We would have liked to build more," 
Godfrey said, "but there were some com- 
promises that had to be struck with the 

"If we could have built 48 units, our per- 
unit costs would have been lower. It would 
have been more efficient, we would have 
served more low income households." 

To qualify for the PUD exemption and re- 
zoning, the developers needed to demon- 
strate that the project offered "significant 
public benefit." In the case of Near North 
it was agreed that providing affordable 
housing in the area met this criteria. After 
a compromise was reached in September 
2009, Ann Arbor City Council unani- 
mously approved the zoning change and 
cleared the way for Avalon to move for- 
ward on the project. 

The units at Near North will be reserved 
for individuals earning between 30 to 50 
percent below the area median income. In 
Ann Arbor this translates into persons 

earning less than $29,000 annually. The 14 
units set aside as supportive housing are for 
individuals earning less than $17,500. The 
remaining 25 apartments will rent at the 
near market rate of $774 monthly. 

In January of last year, the Downtown De- 
velopment Authority agreed to provide 
$500,000 in funding with the stipulation 
that Near North be built to high standards 
of environmental design. 

The flinders at DDA said that they would 
inject $400,000 into the project if it at- 
tained a minimum Silver LEED rating and 
an additional $100,000 if it achieved a 
Gold LEED rating. LEED stands for Lead- 
ership in Energy and Environmental De- 
sign; it's a third party verification and 
construction standard, outlined by the 
U.S. Green Building Council, that rates 
how well buildings adhere to "green-build- 
ing" principles. 

LEED looks at several indicators to meas- 
ure the health of a building project, but 
the four most important are: Energy effi- 
ciency; materials and resources; water effi- 
ciency; and sustainable site development. 

"There's additional cost for building using 
LEED," Godfrey said, "however there was 
a lot of support for doing it. The flinders 
really supported making the project as 
green and sustainable as possible. It was 
more than just encouragement; I think 
they basically said, If you're going to do 

this, we want you to use our money to 
achieve LEED status." 

Typically the increased costs of building 
using LEED are offset by savings of energy 
conserved over the life of a structure. 
Building with LEED is generally viewed as 
a sign that developers are investing in the 
community, as opposed to building 
quickly and selling off a property. There 
are also tax incentives to encourage using 
LEED. Avalon and Three Oaks said that 
they expect the Near North buildings to 
meet DDA's stipulation of earning a Gold 
LEED rating. 

Because of Near North's green classifica- 
tion, they'll also receive an additional 
$250,000 from a community development 
block grant through the U.S. Department 
of Housing and Urban Development. 

"This grant will help create a new genera- 
tion of housing that will offer residents 
more than just an affordable home," 
HUD s Assistant Secretary, Mercedes Mar- 
quez said when she announced the award 
last April. "Working with our partners at 
the local level, our goal is to produce more, 
smarter and certainly greener affordable 
housing for future generations of families." 

Alongside site development LEED credits, 
Near North will receive just under $1.4 
million in Brownfield and Energy Tax 
Credits for removing soil contamination at 
the site. According to a study by an area 

engineering firm, the building site contains 
unacceptably high levels of heavy metals 
and other materials that pose risks for 
drinking water contamination. The 
Brownfield credits are also being leveraged 
as another source of Near North's complex 

The Near North partnership acknowledges 
that building this project will be expensive. 
At $ 1 5 million, per unit costs are obviously 
high, somewhere between $200,000 and 
$270,000 depending on how it's measured. 
To many, spending these sums on a one- 
bedroom apartment could seem impracti- 

The question then becomes, can we meas- 
ure the value of the community's diversity 
in dollars and cents? How much richer are 
our lives because of exposure to as wide a 
perspective as possible? With all the com- 
plications and arguments over the actual 
costs of building Near North, measuring 
the value of its benefit is an entirely differ- 
ent, monumentally more difficult debate. 
Bill Godfrey is deeply philosophical about 
this point. 

"If we capitulate to gentrification," God- 
frey said, "then we give in to the idea that 
our inner cities are going to be affluent en- 
claves for people with means. Otherwise, 
we should fight the fight and make sure we 
can still keep a foothold for low income 
residents in downtown Ann Arbor."